What Do I Need to Prepare my Dog (and myself!) for a Boarding Stay? 

A dog on top of a suitcase

Boarding your pet can be a stressful process. There are so many things to organize and pack, and you want to ensure you provide your dog with everything they will need so they can have a comfortable and fun stay away from home! The last thing you need is an extra delay or complication! 

Below is an easy-to-navigate checklist that should help you better understand what you need to have set up ahead of time and what to bring along for your pup’s stay with us! We will also talk about what you can leave at home. This can make it easier to ensure that they (and you) have a stress-free and enjoyable experience. 

Before your first stay: 

1. Confirm your reservation! We cannot stress this enough. Be sure your dates and times are correct! 

2. Make sure your dog has all the necessary vaccinations. The last thing we want to do is turn you and your dog away because of a missed vaccination. 

What to pack: 

1. Meals! Of course, your pup needs to eat while they are with us! We ask that meals are brought in pre-portioned baggies so each bag contains one meal. This helps streamline the feeding process, allowing us the time to provide the best possible care. This also makes any type of feeding or portioning mistake impossible, and ensures that your pet will always get exactly what they are supposed to for each meal. We also have house food available when needed. 

2. Medication: If your dog is taking any regular medications, we are happy to administer those for you! We ask that you do not pre-mix the medication into the food, but rather, give it to us separately. This allows us to store it safely, maintain a consistent count, and administer it properly to each pet. Upon check-in, a booking specialist will confirm all medication and dosage information. 

3. Treats and Chews! We love to give treats to your pup! We even offer some of our own desserts! It’s important to bring the right kind of treats! Any kind of little treat is totally fine, but for long-term treats, we accept things like Antlers, Hooves, Bully Sticks, and Bones. We do not accept soft toys, as we do not want your pup to tear up or destroy their favorite toys! We also have plenty!  

4. Bedding! All of our guests are given an orthopedic bed when they are sleeping over. We will allow 1 personal item such as a t-shirt, towel or small blanket.

What not to pack: 

Leave scoops, bowls, large dog beds, and soft toys at home! Scoops and bowls can easily get mixed into ours, and soft toys can be shredded, and we want everyone to go home with all the things they arrived with in one piece! Large beds simply don’t fit into the rooms with the dogs. 

On the Day of Check-in 

1. Check your list and ensure you have uploaded all vaccine records and packed everything your pup needs. 

2. Check out pick-up/drop-off hours to make sure you’re arriving when we are available to help you. 

3. Bring your dog along, give them a kiss goodbye, and then one of our handlers will take them back and place them into a playgroup that is most appropriate for their playstyle. 

4. Review all your information with reception. Be sure to mention any allergies or medical conditions the caregivers should be aware of, and confirm medication dosages and timings when they ask. 

5. Add or confirm any additional services like our athletic enrichment, snuggle package, meal enrichment plan, exit baths, desserts, and anything else you may like! 

6. Head out with the peace of mind that we are providing the best care possible for your pup! 

7. Receive a photo Pupdates every few days to see pictures and hear about how your dog is doing! You are also welcome to call and check on your pet anytime during office hours! 

As always, our front desk staff is here to answer any questions you may have, and to provide support when making or altering bookings. We hope that this guide helps organize your pet’s stay easily and effectively, helps ease one of the many stressors of travel, and helps guarantee your dog has a happy and stress-free stay with us! 

If you’re interested in having your dog enroll in Bark U – Register here and request a temperament assessment. To learn more about our other services, visit us online or call us at 215-486-2200 today!